America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education called on local farmers to nominate rural schools to receive nearly $2.3 million in grants to enhance their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.
Local farmers answered the call, and the Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer, has recognized Van-Far Elementary in Audrain County with a $10,000 grant.
Van-Far Elementary is just one of the many success stories of the Grow Rural Education program. For each winning school, teachers, students and, oftentimes, community members work together to make STEM programs more engaging. Van-Far Elementary will use the Grow Rural Education program funds to implement The Leaders of Investigation project.
This project will be a building-wide, student initiated investigative approach to learning. Students will utilize iPads to research, experiment, learn, and share information in their own classrooms, school building, homes, and community. Supplementing the current Missouri Learning Standards for Science and Math being taught in the classrooms, the iPads will provide the tools necessary for Van-Far Leaders to compete with students across the state and nation.
“Bayer is proud to support programs like America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, which has made such a tremendous impact in rural communities across the United States,” said Lisa Safarian, Bayer Crop Science North America.
“These grants help drive awareness of career opportunities in agriculture and enhance STEM education for the students who are the next generation of our industry.”
To qualify for a Grow Rural Education grant, farmers nominated a public school district to compete for a merit-based grant of either $10,000 or $25,000.
Nominated school districts then submitted a grant application that outlined how they would use the funds to enhance their students’ STEM education. A panel of qualified teachers review the applications and narrow it down to the finalists.
The program’s Farmer Advisory Council, consisting of approximately 30 farmer leaders from across the country, then select the winning school districts, including Van-Far Elementary.
“America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is a special program because farmers play a key role in nominating local schools and selecting the grant winners,” said Al Mitchell, Monsanto Fund president.
“Each year, countless school winners tell us that the Grow Rural Education grants make a positive impact in their classrooms. For some, the results are evident in student test scores, and many educators say their students are more excited about STEM courses.”
Since Grow Rural Education began in 2011, it has awarded more than $16 million to more than 900 school districts in rural communities across the United States.